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Who says you have to be rich to win a football game?

by Community Manager on ‎06-11-2014 12:49 PM (5,305 Views)

With 2014 World Cup starting this week, I have soccer – or let’s use the global term, football – fever. A few of us here at SAS pulled some 2010 World Cup data into SAS Visual Analytics to see if any interesting findings jump out. The below correlation matrix is rich and deep; there are so many insights to be gleaned. But let me pull out one to note: that economic status is not an indicator for World Cup winners.

Check out the highlighted cross section of 2010 GDPs and 2010 winners. The relationship is weak. Affluence does not drive successful football leagues. All you need to play is a ball, a few people (or just yourself or yourself and a buddy) and something to position as goals. It makes you think about the natural essence of the sport. Not a lot of fluff. Straightforward.

World Cup 2010 Winners_GDP.png

Quick tip: darker color = higher correlation. The World Cup data came from The Guardian and the GDP data came from the World Bank’s public site. Attached is the data set.

Over the next few weeks, I’ll post more points (pardon the pun) from the matrix. Until then, what pops out at you as a significant correlation?

by Super User
on ‎06-13-2014 10:31 AM

Who is going to be champion ? I pick up Germany . :smileyhappy:

by Trusted Advisor
on ‎06-15-2014 12:41 AM

Hi Anna,

Great idea!

I'd like to double click on the cell to look at the actual relationship. Whilst the correlation is weak there may be a strong non-linear relationship between 2010 GDPs and 2010 winners. Correlation matrices are great at getting an overview of strong linear relationships between a number of predictors. I'd like to explore the data further with some histograms, scatter plots/box plots etc in case there are other types of relationships and influencing observations and predictors in the data.



by Community Manager
on ‎06-17-2014 01:56 PM

@Ksharp – how about The Netherlands after that match against Spain on Friday?

@Michelle Homes – Indeed, correlation matrices are very telling. I love that you want to explore this data further. I will attach an excel file on which this visualization is based to the original article. The World Cup data came from The Guardian and the GDP data came from the World Bank’s public site.

Here is another look at team performance by overall GDP. This bubble plot shows
2014 World Football Elo Ratings by 2012 GDP data (also from the World Bank site; note: some country GDPs are not available). You’ll see that the #1-ranked Brazil shows a lower GDP than others.


by Trusted Advisor
on ‎06-17-2014 08:02 PM

- You're teasing us now! I opened up the bubble plot image and started clicking on the bubbles wanting to see the figures :smileylaugh:

I love exploring data in SAS Visual Analytics as I get intrigued by what is uncovered when you look at the data from different perspectives. It unravels answers to questions I didn't know I had very easily and quickly...

May not be able to explore the data for a while... off to SAS Professionals Convention - Four reasons I am stoked about SAS Professionals Convention



by Super User
on ‎07-14-2014 09:30 AM


I told you Germany is going to be champion. You see . :smileylaugh::smileylaugh::smileylaugh::smileylaugh:

Xia Keshan

by Community Manager
on ‎07-15-2014 09:58 AM

Indeed, Xia, you picked it!! Hope you had a good bracket going...

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